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96-unit townhouse development on Prospect approved

starlight townsApproved unanimously at council July 18, the development at 2051-2085 Prospect will replace four 4-plexes (16 units) on the site with 96 stacked and back to back rental townhouses. The townhouses will be four storeys, with the first and second levels as “through” units, and the third and fourth storeys as back to back units. The first floor units are below grade, giving the buildings the effect of being three storeys. The site also has two existing 8-storey apartment buildings.

The original townhouse proposal was modified in several ways, including increased setbacks from the residents on Maplewood Ave to the north, from 10m to 14m, which preserved 88% of the trees (42 of 48 trees). Removal of 51 trees internal to the site is still required, but these will be replaced by 64 new trees.

Pedestrian islands/landscaping in the parking lot were also added. To manage transportation demand and compensate for reduced on-site parking, staff required the applicant to provide on-site car share parking and two car share vehicles for two years; secure bike storage; four bicycles for use by residents; and six months of free Burlington Transit passes as a move-in incentive for new tenants in existing or proposed units. The overall development will provide one parking space for each new townhouse unit, and 40 visitor parking spaces.

The proposal required both an Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendment for increased density, and will be subject to negotiation of Section 37 Community Benefits. Those will come before council at a later date.

To read the staff report on this development, visit the Development & Infrastructure Committee for July 12 on the city of Burlington’s new on-line calendar. Filter your search by “city meetings.” Recommendations from D&I went to Council July 18 for a decision.

My Take: I supported the project after the setbacks were increased, which meant that instead of 67% of trees being removed, 88% of trees on site will be saved. The project will also add much needed  rental units in Burlington. A healthy rental vacancy rate is 3%. A recent Halton Region report stated that Halton’s rental vacancy rate is 1.3% – the lowest among regional municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area. The project may also provide affordable and assisted housing. Under Halton’s “in situ” housing program, residents in need can apply for funding that bridges the gap between what they can afford and the market rent. The application could have been improved by greater variety of units (they are all 2-bedroom) and some accessible units (they all have stairs). To compensate, accessibility improvements are being made to the existing apartments.

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

5 Comments

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  1. I am disappointed that you supported this project, after listening to the concerns of the current tenants. I am even more disappointed to learn that the city accepted money from Starlight even if they are using it for Optimist Park. That money they are donating should be put back into the 2 apartment buildings, being left standing instead of expecting the tenants to keep paying for their cheap and shoddy upgrades. They could have also put that money into the current townhouses and made them habitable instead of moving the current tenants out. Also they should be compensating the tenants for the noise and dust and inconvenience that is going to happen as they are building. I am also not sure their idea for sharing parking spots will work, unless it is a 2 car family. Getting in and out of the current driveway is bad enough especially for those who walk, it is easier and safer to cross the grass. Adding more parking unless they are adding an additional drive way is nuts. I don’t think anyone thought of pedestrian safety.

    I live in one of the apartment buildings and have sent Starlight (DMS – there agent) pictures of the crumbing wall around my balcony, typically I didn’t receive a response and the wall is still crumbling and cracked — they should be doing something about this as well.

    But I guess City Hall doesn’t care about what is happening all they are concerned with is getting more money and making themselves look good with affordable housing – which is a laugh when you think Starlight are charging around $1,400 plus parking and hydro for their current 2 bedroom units, I am sure the town houses will be even more – so affordable to the current people, I doubt it.

  2. I have lived in one of the apartment buildings affected by this development for over 33 years and I have enjoyed the quiet and beautiful surroundings the entire time, BUT, now that this 96-stacked townhouse project is under way, I am concerned about the concentration of population and vehicles in such a small area. In addition, we are told there will only be the one driveway that currently runs between the two existing apartment buildings to accommodate traffic for the entire project and the two apartment buildings which not only concerns me, but pretty much everyone else who lives here. Traffic is heavy enough on Prospect Street now, so I can well imagine the nightmare this new project will create.

    • Forget it… nobody is listening. The Councillors pit themselves against each other in a good cop – bad cop type of relationship. The mandate from the province is to intensify… the mandate from all City Councils, everywhere, is to bring in more and more of those almighty dollars… the requirement of the citizens is to put up or shut up… or leave… And what does the city do with their revenue??? Put in unnecessary bike lanes on New Street??? Remove the much needed parking on Drury Lane??? Allow the build of massive Condo Buildings downtown so that traffic can grind to an even slower crawl??? Allow the building of infill homes which do not conform to the surrounding neighbourhood, disturbing residents while rich contractors reap ALL of the rewards??? Where is the beautiful, quiet Burlington I moved to 8 years ago??? It will soon be in the dust of my car as I drive away………………………..

  3. It’s interesting that there seems to be a lot of concern over the tree count but the fact that we are now allowing developers to build basement apartments doesn’t seem to bother council. Dress it up by calling it a ‘below grade’ unit if you will but it’s still ‘lipstick on a pig’.

  4. Cars, cars and more cars… What is the solution for this, as we steam ahead with intensification ?!?!? This is a serious question… It is often a parking lot out there…

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